I wish the upcoming recession (I tell you, it is going to happen) would just get it over with, so...

I wish the upcoming recession (I tell you, it is going to happen) would just get it over with, so that I can graduate on the uptick. But nooo-ooo, it's gonna be selfish and make me graduate right in the middle of it. You realise this means I have to do a PhD, right?
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So there I am, being my usual cynical self, and then I hear about Gander, a town in Canada,...

So there I am, being my usual cynical self, and then I hear about Gander, a town in Canada, population 10000, which on September 11th had 53 commercial flights diverted to it, with a total of more than 6000 passengers. I'm kind of, no, I'm totally blown away. A summary of the story: Amazing Story of Delta Flight 15 (This was written by a flight attendant.) On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic. All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that "All Business" look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta's main office in Atlanta and simply read, "All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination." No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we...
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Far be it from me to let a good meme go unnoted. So go, everyone, and watch the Lego men build a...

Far be it from me to let a good meme go unnoted. So go, everyone, and watch the Lego men build a computer for Andy. One of these days, I'm going to do something like this.
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Oh, and the news today is that, um, yeah, UFOs are probably real after all. The US military has...

Oh, and the news today is that, um, yeah, UFOs are probably real after all. The US military has been flying black, delta-shaped vertical take-off and landing airships the size of football fields since the early 1980s. Sorry for not mentioning that, everyone :-) Apparently, they use electrostatic propulsion, so there's no propellors, no downdraft, and no noise. Oh, and they can reach low earth orbit. Nice. I wouldn't give this a shred of credibility ordinarily, except that I'm reading an Economist (from about 2 weeks ago) at the moment that is all about the defence industry, and officially the US government hasn't upgraded its equipment-carrying planes since the 60s, despite buying new fighters and every other type of equipment all the time. Maybe they upgraded, and just didn't feel the need to tell anyone? I love a good conspiracy theory. Also, the nutcase from CNN Money is back. I can't believe they let this man regularly write a column like this.
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Okay, I have to admit it: I have gone from horrified fascination to being really quite enthralled...

Okay, I have to admit it: I have gone from horrified fascination to being really quite enthralled by this guy and his column. A good excerpt today: Freaky mergers: "1. Xerox and Wurlitzer. (They're going to make reproductive organs) 2. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell computers. (The new company will be called Fairwell Honeychild) 3. Polygram Records, Warner Brothers and Keebler. (The new company will be called Poly-Warner-Cracker.)"
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Somehow unreported until today, Edsger Wybe Dijkstra died two days ago on August 6th 2002. Although...

Somehow unreported until today, Edsger Wybe Dijkstra died two days ago on August 6th 2002. Although the name probably doesn't mean anything to you if you don't do computer science, he's one of Newtons or Einsteins of the field; a lot of modern computing relies on theories he came up with. I know it's all about economic factors and bad government is to blame, but I still think it's kind of obscene that people are using electric muscle control devices to control their over-eating while there's famine in southern Africa. You're too fat? You know what? You should try eating less. You shouldn't need to implant a device to stop you cramming more doughnuts down your throat.
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The Dow's been climbing for the past 3 days in a row -- triple-digit climbing, mind, none of this...

The Dow's been climbing for the past 3 days in a row -- triple-digit climbing, mind, none of this wussy 30-points-in-a-day type wavering that used to constitute a good day on the markets. But that's all over now: in a move that takes the situation from being merely hilarious to being frankly flabbergasting, WorldCom announced that the misrepresentation of its profits -- already the biggest ever -- is actually twice as big, at a total of $7 billion. Hey, whoops, sorry we didn't spot that earlier! The new fraud (don't think it isn't) was discovered by going back to financial records from 2000. So clearly WorldCom has been making a habit of misreporting income, which would explain why the new executives say there may be yet more "restatements" to come. Was this company ever profitable? Meanwhile, Modern Humorist continues to be very funny (if badly spelled) with suggestions for more politically-aware muppet characters and a preview of upcoming episodes of the Anna Nicole show
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I was quite interested to find today that, contrary to my expectations, Google has in fact indexed...

I was quite interested to find today that, contrary to my expectations, Google has in fact indexed every page of this site, including lots of the weblog entries. That's nice to know, but it's more amusing to think that it will now also index this blog entry, thus creating a hopelessly reflexive series of links. Ah, the web.
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Yet another story indicating that Yasser Arafat is gay. Coming on the heels of this earlier story...

Yet another story indicating that Yasser Arafat is gay. Coming on the heels of this earlier story along the same lines, it becomes quite hard to deny the facts: satirical magazine writers are running out of ideas.
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Roll on the space elevator. In 15 years time, low earth orbit will be a four-hour elevator ride,...

Roll on the space elevator. In 15 years time, low earth orbit will be a four-hour elevator ride, and geosynchronous orbit a week-long haul at a fraction of the cost of rockets or the shuttle. Hell yeah.
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A fairly random grab-bag of items have been occupying my consciousness in the past 24 hours. Last...

A fairly random grab-bag of items have been occupying my consciousness in the past 24 hours. Last night, I randomly happened upon Python, and read a very persuasive article by a very clever guy on why it was a very useful language to learn. But the real clincher was reading an article on programming Window GUIs in Python where I discovered that you can write a "Hello, World!" standalone application -- in its own little window, with a button -- using five lines of code. That's sweet, and enough to sell the language to me, quite apart from all the references to the Spanish Inquisition and ex-parrots. Python is an interpreted language, but you can use it to easily make standalone GUI applications. Good stuff. Completely unrelated, this morning, I remembered that I love EurekAlert. It reports stuff that seems obvious in retrospect, but it's nice to hear it confirmed by a scientific study. Stuff like: Tobacco firms used their financial interests in companies that make anti-smoking products to persuade them to...
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Come, spend hours browsing the ad graveyard -- don't be fooled by the really tiny "[more]" links,...

Come, spend hours browsing the ad graveyard -- don't be fooled by the really tiny "[more]" links, there's hundreds of really funny rejected ads to browse here, including a few famous ones. Also, what was up with the Dow yesterday? A 250-point rise? I swear there's some madman with a joystick somewhere, giggling hysterically as he jiggles the US economy around and amazed that anybody thinks it's guided by rational impulses.
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This guy exists for the sole purpose of making me jealous. Yes. Yes he does. Also, this is very...

This guy exists for the sole purpose of making me jealous. Yes. Yes he does. Also, this is very funny, and so is the site it came from.
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Okay, no funny links today. Today, I'm going to indulge myself and write a totally self-involved...

Okay, no funny links today. Today, I'm going to indulge myself and write a totally self-involved blog that nobody else will want to read. I briefly considered starting a "secret blog" to have personal, journal-type blogs in. That fell down because: I'm loath to host anything off-site I don't have deep personal thoughts nearly often enough to warrant a whole other blog (on the other hand, I surf the web all the time...) WTF is a "secret" blog? Either I want my thoughts made public, so I put them on my blog, or I don't. All the poetry is up already, and that's a lot more personal than I could ever get with just prose. Hey, nobody reads this anyway! So it makes no difference what the hell I put on it (although I get 50 hits a day at the moment -- they can't all be me) Anyway, so on to what I'm actually thinking. I'm... overwhelmed, at the moment. I have too many things I want to do. I want to work on web2, my third year project; I want to update this site with a nifty new front page and a pictures...
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The gifts that keep on giving: cows. The Masai people of Kenya gave the city of New York nine cows...

The gifts that keep on giving: cows. The Masai people of Kenya gave the city of New York nine cows as a gesture of solidarity for September 11th. Hey, these are nice people. Also, look for the amusing "cow puppy" comment at the bottom of the article. In case you're wondering how to thank someone who's donated a cow to you, here's a suggestion: send them a sheep, ordered online with your credit card. No, I'm not joking.
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Aw, fuck. Just when I was forgetting.

Aw, fuck. Just when I was forgetting.
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Everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, needs to have a go IMMEDIATELY on Celebdaq. A...

Everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, needs to have a go IMMEDIATELY on Celebdaq. A not-very-clever play on NASDAQ, Celebdaq lets you buy stock in celebrities (the choice is limited and somewhat arbitrary, and rather UK-centric). When someone famous does something interesting, their stock goes up, mainly because people just entering the game tend to buy stock in people they've heard about, and a lesser-fool principle -- people think they'll go up, so they buy them, so they do. You start off with £10,000 of fake money, and the best player wins £100 of real money every week. It's great, and totally addictive. Play now, and buy stock in Beckham.
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Ah well, I suppose I really should credit Matt Elton for directing me to When Office Supplies...

Ah well, I suppose I really should credit Matt Elton for directing me to When Office Supplies Attack!, surely soon to be a special on Fox. I wonder how many more people there are like this guy that we're just not hearing about? And how many at Guantanamo Bay? And why the hell have we stopped complaining about camp X-ray?
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Retro-futurism reaches its logical peak: VW is bringing back the camper van, this time with a...

Retro-futurism reaches its logical peak: VW is bringing back the camper van, this time with a built-in DVD movie theatre and automatic shift. The VW concept site also has the. most. buzzwordy. video I have ever seen, but it does show you what it will look like -- look for the cool robotic sliding handles. I think it needs to look more like the old one if they're going to repeat the success of the Beetle. Also, caffeine may cure skin cancer. Apparently, Coke hasn't heard yet, and is still on the defensive. In the meantime, you can arm-wrestle Sigmund Freud. Oh, and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew.
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Today, my pretties, I adjust my monocle, stroke my white persian cat and present you with two...

Today, my pretties, I adjust my monocle, stroke my white persian cat and present you with two treats: first, MostBeautifulMan is your one-stop-shop for droolworthies. Go on, support feminism by treating men like sex objects! Completely unrelated, the ever-interesting FARK has a great photoshop theme going: if weed were legalized, how would it be advertised? I especially like the weed.com/switch campaign :-) Finally, roll on the RoboShop, the final solution to dwindling supplies of cheap immigrant labour (because they keep shooting all the Mexicans).
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The great joy of the Internet is that the size of the audience means that any niche market, no...

The great joy of the Internet is that the size of the audience means that any niche market, no matter how small or internally inconsistent, can be effectively served. So, for those of you who like wearing leather and beating up humans, but can't stand cruelty to cows, I proudly direct you to Vegan Erotica. A variety of attractive bondage accessories in 100% animal-safe fake leather. And no, I got the link from MemePool; I didn't find it myself. Meanwhile, the Osbournes are now officially on the cover of every magazine everywhere, including Popular Science. I'm ashamed to admit I actually like that Kelly Osbourne cover of Papa don't preach, don't ask me why. Also to come out of the really quite funny Every Three Weekly is a comparison of pop idol variants around the world (Japanese idols are found, rise, develop a drug addiction and fade into obscurity within 16 minutes, for efficiency reasons). In fact, that article is hilarious, and you should really read it, so here it is again. Click it this time.
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So this is what the BBC has to say about Trinidad. I've already sent them an e-mail pointing out...

So this is what the BBC has to say about Trinidad. I've already sent them an e-mail pointing out that: Their map is wrong! (It actually looks like this) Castara is not the capital of Tobago. Mapquest has it wrong to, listing it as Canaan. I don't think there is a town called Canaan in Tobago. Apart from not knowing what it looks like, the account is surprisingly accurate and up-to-date. Also, my job is boring, but props must go to sun for describing a DOM as a "garden-variety tree". A garden-variety tree would be a tree, not a data structure, morons.
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I find it difficult to express how disturbed I am at the contents of this article from the...

I find it difficult to express how disturbed I am at the contents of this article from the Sacramento Bee, about the results of a recent survey into American attitudes towards the First Amendment. The article is full of frightening statistics, including: 49% of Americans think the first Amendment goes "too far" ("Many Americans view these fundamental freedoms as possible obstacles in the war on terrorism") 48% agree the government should be able to "infringe upon religious freedoms" in order to monitor religious groups in the interest of national security 4 in 10 favor restrictions on the academic freedom of professors to criticize government military policy during war 7 in 10 believe newspapers should be able to publish freely (30% of Americans are against freedom of the press???) These idiots deserve to have their freedom taken away.
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